With the exhibition Gotthard Graubner. Painting the Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein
presents paintings, watercolours and drawings which elucidate the artists understanding of his work in terms of both continuity and change.
The exhibition has been conceived not as a retrospective, but rather as a condensed pres-entation of outstanding works. This selection highlights what concerned, and indeed still concerns the artist in the course of an oeuvre that covers a period of 50 years. The focal point is the picture as a physical entity, and painting as a intensely breathing organism. The exhibition highlights how Graubner translates the sense perception of physical nature into a tangible pictorial form by means of abstraction and reduction; how his painting links this sensitivity for the material texture of bodies and the wealth and specific qualities of colours with this tangible picture form; his understanding of painting as a union of opposites, espe-cially warm and cold, plane and space, material and immaterial, light and shade; how the artist moves the viewers gaze to contemplate, irrespective of the size and physical pres-ence of the painting or the forcefulness of the colour.
The selected drawings and watercolours date back to the 1950s and illustrate Graubners artistic beginnings and his early engagement with mass and abstraction, texture and colour. On the other hand, the selected paintings cover the period from 1965 to 2005, thus em-bracing the cushion paintings, an early manifestation of a physical, three-dimensional concept of the image, as well as the quasi-classical bodies of colour space in different sizes and colours, which Graubner still considers valid to this very day.
Although the selection of the works wishes to illustrate an idea the artists idea of the picture and of painting it also abides by the conviction that in Graubners case this idea is always preceded by a vision that gives rise to a form which then enables the idea to be discernable. Thus it complies with the conviction that seeing precedes thinking and that the eye of the viewer should therefore be presented with the maximum possible sensuous quality, contrast and harmony, changes of material, format and colour.
The exhibition is conceived and curated by Dr. Uwe Wieczorek, curator at the Hilti art foun-dation in close collaboration with the artist.